The City of Carlsbad is doing its part to make sure there's plenty of sand on local beaches. Beaches are replenished with sand through three different partnerships the City of Carlsbad has established with local and regional agencies.
From September to December, the region's shoreline will be enhanced with more than 1.4 million cubic yards of high-quality sand, equal to about 120,000 truckloads.
The San Diego Association of Governments, known as SANDAG is coordinating the $28.5 million Regional Beach Sand Project with support from community leaders in the coastal areas. Funding comes from the cities of Carlsbad, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, Oceanside, and Solana Beach, as well as the California Department of Boating and Waterways.
Coastal erosion is the wearing away of land and the removal of beach or dune sediments by wave action, tidal currents, wave currents, or drainage. Changes in the surrounding landscape have reduced the amount of sand that makes it to our beaches naturally. Sand on beaches is also lost during winter storms when waves carry much of the sand back out to the ocean floor. That means sand needs to be added to keep up with beach erosion.
In Carlsbad, about every two years, the Agua Hedionda Lagoon is dredged to replenish the beach sand. A large dredging vessel will collect sand by dredging the bottom of the lagoon mouth and pumping the sand to the beach. This dredging project could add up to about a half million cubic yards of sand to Carlsbad beaches.
The Batiquitos Lagoon is also dredged every few years as needed to ensure the lagoon is healthy for fish and wildlife, and this provides sand for south Carlsbad beaches. The process includes dredging the bottom of the lagoon basin west of Interstate-5 to keep it deep enough to allow for the tides to keep the lagoon free from silt. Another benefit of the dredging is that it improves natural nesting areas for many endangered bird and fish species. The City of Carlsbad works on this project with the California Department of Fish and Game, which pays for this project.
The goal of these partnership projects is to restore eroded beaches, support local tourism, and preserve recreational opportunities.
So the next time you visit a Carlsbad beach, you'll know the beach sand is there in part because of Mother Nature and in part because of the strong partnerships between the City of Carlsbad and other agencies committed to preserving this essential part of the quality of life in Carlsbad.